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New Bassist Here Needs Some Help

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Son of Spam, Jun 30, 2001.

  1. Well, I've been playing bass for about 2 months now, yes, only two months. And well, basically, I need to have some tips on playing and getting better.

    To begin with, I decided to learn the major scales (not in major, but the major scales.) After about 3 days of doing that, I decided it wasn't helping at all. I picked up a book on bass, but after doing the same thing over and over again I realized I truly wasn't learning anything. I am pretty quick with my fingerpicking style, or my friends who play bass/guitar tell me so.

    So then I started having my friends who play bass come over, and they've been teaching me some songs. I learned how to slide with a Black Sabbath song, learned power chords with a Green Day song, and learned hammering with a Limp Bizkit song (even though I hate Limp Bizkit.) A friend of mine who him and his dad have been playing bass (and guitar) for over 10 years showed me some stuff, and they say I've been coming along quite quickly.

    But basically to get down to it, is there any exercises I should practice every day? Maybe a song that I should play over and over again? I'm just basically looking for some help.
  2. I think that Stevie Wonders song I wish gives you a bit of the endurance you need.
  3. GroovBs


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hey Buddy-Boy,
    When I started playing it was a pretty easy thing.....because of my teacher.Don't learn songs until you're playing well.Learn to play bass.Once you do that you can learn anything.Find a good teacher.....and not a guitar player that knows how to play bass.I did that and got" messed over".Find a bass player teacher.You can find one at www.modulusguitars.com.Go to links and find a teacher.
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Scales. Everyday. Not just root to octave and back, either. Learn to play scales through the entire range of the instrument.

    Scales are the building blocks, the "vocabulary", of our language. Everything comes from them. Additionally, practicing your sclaes will get your hands working together, and help to build your "chops".

    Arpeggios would be next. From the root, 3rd, 5th and 7th. Acending, decending, acending on one chord, decending on the next. Acending from the root, decending from the next chords 3rd. and on. and on. and on.

    Good luck.
  5. GroovBs


    Jun 30, 2001
    When you start playing in a band.....most of the time you won't have sheet music.....you'll have a chord chart.You need to learn what certain chords consist of.The way I learned this is my reading on theory.....and I even learned to play piano.Chord theory will help you with a lot of bass line......but just like pac said.....scales are the building blocks of our vocab. and for every chord there are certain scales, mainly arp.........and one thing is every note you play....play it like it means the whole world to you......because to be a great bassist you must feel that way.....like it's the greatest thing in the world!
  6. Thanks everyone for the help :)

    Come to think of it, I better start practicing the scales right now, as in 2 hours I gotta leave...

    I truly do enjoy playing the bass.... I played guitar for maybe 5 months, and finally said **** it... I just didn't feel it... I enjoy the bass though, its exciting, and its great to be able to say "I play the bass" and have someone be like "Huh? You mean the guitar?" "No, the bass idiot." LoL

  7. I do finger-practice every day.. it helps you master controll over your left hand, which makes you play real cool stuff..

    go sit in front of a table and use the edge of the table.. try to do this as fast as you can :

    1) touch the edge with a fist and raise hand again
    2) touch the edghe with your thumb and raise hand again
    3) touch the edge with your indexfinger and little finger at the same time and raise hand again
    4) touch the edge with your middlefinger and ringdfinger at the same time and raise hand again

    if you can do it in a smooth motion then you're doing great

    what also helps.. get some tabs from songs you like.. try to play the tabs and then try to play along with the song.
  8. zoombass


    Jul 31, 2000
    Liverpool, UK
    sounds like you should just enjoy playing & learning with your friends for a while......!!
    listen to your fav music & get your ears together, develop your feel etc....
    think about joining a band & don't think you can't play groovy bass without learning your scales or being a reader from the off......
    (there's plenty of time for all that if you want to go down that road & a lot of fine players still don't bother with it at all...)
    just do a lot of listening & hanging out with other muso's...
    happy listening.....
  9. wynnguitars


    Jun 20, 2001
    I agree with Pac and groovb. Its not just about playing a scale its about the feeling of the movement of the scale. those scales in the proper setting will propel your basslines to new levels whether your shreding or jus holdin the fort down.Our jobs as bassplayers is to hold things together lock in with the kick drum(most of the time) we have to be thinking ahead constantly to stay ahead of the other musicians or players.So when you play your scales keep in mind that your preping your self for the future of being a solid foundation as well as being melodic while doing it.

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